15 Times We Cried While Watching the Harry Potter Movies

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4. The Execution of Buckbeak

If you didn’t read the Harry Potter books and were watching The Prisoner of Azkaban for the first time, Buckbeak’s death was a startling reminder that the Malfoys sucked and Hagrid’s compassion towards animals wasn’t shared by everyone.

In Harry Potter’s third year, Dumbledore promotes Hagrid from gamekeeper to Care of Magical Creatures professor. On his first day, Hagrid introduces the students to Buckbeak, a hippogriff. Harry demonstrates the proper technique for approaching the creature and easily takes a spin around the grounds with Buckbeak. Suddenly, we all wish we had a flying horse bird to sail through the skies with. When Harry returns, Malfoy arrogantly approaches Buckbeak next. Buckbeak feels threatened by his approach and attacks him. (Barely.)

When word spreads to the Ministry of Magic, Lucious Malfoy uses his influence to call for Buckbeak’s execution. While Hagrid does his best to defend his animal, Cornelius Fudge and the executioner arrive. Harry, Hermione, and Ron watch from a distance as Buckbeak is executed.

Or so it appeared.

Later, Hermione and Harry use the Time-Turner to save Buckbeak. But if this was your first time watching this movie, you didn’t know that. So, it counts.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban